Snowmobile enthusiasts often ask where to find the resources they need for safety, training, and access information. Whether it’s looking for weather and avalanche updates to keep you safe, finding the perfect training or classes that will improve your skills and let you get the most out of your sled, or searching for new places to enjoy your sport, there’s a lot of available information geared specifically to the snowmobilers needs.
Avalanche education providers offer online training, plus links to avalanche centers worldwide. Throughout the Snowbelt, individual states also have their own avalanche information centers with the most up-to-date conditions. Most of these centers also provide training, so outdoorsmen know what to look for, what to avoid, and how to stay safe at high elevations. For an overview and national information, Avalanche.org is the site to start with. The US Forest Service National Avalanche Center also provides safety information and handy links to all Forest Service Avalanche Centers and resources. Play it safe by knowing weather and avalanche conditions before you head into the high country.
Need a little help getting started or just want to refresh your skills? There are many snowmobile education and safety providers available. Nationally, Fresh Air Educators provides a fee-based course online to teach snowmobile safety with a certification course at www.snowmobilecourse.com and similar information and for-fee training is offered by Kalkomey Inc. at www.Snowmobile-ed.com. For hands-on education, Northwest School of Survival, based in Oregon, has corporate snowmobile and survival training classes, and snowmobile safety training is on the program at the Colorado location of Safety One International. Nearly every snow state has its own local programs to offer, most found through the state Parks and Recreation Department or the state Snowmobiling Association.
The American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) has developed printable materials to help bring awareness to safe snowmobiling practices. Through www.snowmobilers.org these safety education pieces are available online to anyone. Check out the Safe Riders Safety Awareness Program to learn the basics about preparing for your ride, proper riding techniques and apparel, general snowmobiling rules and laws, basic snowmobile maintenance, emergency preparedness, and dangers to avoid. There are short quizzes at the end of each section to help you test your knowledge.
Snowmobiling is a fun and exciting family-friendly sport but it comes with responsibility. The snowmobiler must be aware of the dangers of unexpected weather and avalanche warnings, speed and careless operation, alcohol, roadways, and night riding challenges. Being prepared will make the sport more fun and assure that it’s a safe and rewarding winter activity.